Early signs of Autistic Spectrum Disorders

These signs and symptoms are helpful in alerting professionals and parents about the possibility of ASD. They are not meant to be diagnostic or comprehensive.

  Pre-school children (up to 5 years) School age children (5- 11 years)
Language and communication ·       Poor or no response to name

·       Delayed language development

·       Frequent repetition of set words and phrases

·       Reduced use of language for communicating with others

·       Limited and/or odd use of language for communicating with others e.g. talking at others mainly about topics of own interest

·       Frequent use of “learnt” phrases

·       Monotonous speech

·       Reduced response to others and poor conversations

Social interaction ·       Reduced or absent social interest in others

·       Playing alone

·       Reduced or absent social interactions or play with others

·       Reduced or absent use of eye contact for communication

·       Reduced or absent use of pointing to show objects or share interests

·       Limited or absent pretend play

·       Reduced or absent social interest in others including children of own age

·       Poor awareness of expected social behaviour and of personal space

·       Preferring to play or spend time alone; reduced sharing of interest or fun with others

·       Reduced or absent use of eye contact for communication

·       Reduced or absent use of pointing to show objects or share interests

·       Limited or absent flexible imaginative play or creativity

Repetitive and restricted behaviours ·       Over-focused or unusual interests

·       Repetitive “stereotypical‟ movements such as hand flapping, body rocking while standing, spinning, finger flicking

·       Repetitive acts, e.g. opening and closing doors or flicking light switches on/off

·       Over or under reaction to sensory stimuli, for example textures, sounds, smells

·       Insistence on following same routines

·       Over-focused or unusual interests

·       Repetitive “stereotypical‟ movements such as hand flapping, body rocking while standing, spinning, finger flicking

·       Strong insistence on following same routines or own agenda

·       Dislike for change, which leads to anxiety and distress

·       Over or under reaction to sensory stimuli, for example textures, sounds, smells

 

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